Scientific Name Common Name Global Rank State Rank Federal Status WI Status Animal Group

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)








Photo by Dave Menke


Counties with Mapped NHI Occurrences

Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus), a Special Concern species in Wisconsin, is a medium-sized woodpecker with a bright red hood and glossy black upper parts that contrast with a white body and wing patches. This species favors open upland sites with scattered trees, such as oak and pine savannas or tree rows in agricultural areas, and, to a lesser extent, lowland forests. As a cavity nester, key habitat elements include large snags and dead limbs. The recommended avoidance period is May 10 - August 15. See the species guidance document for avoidance measures and management guidance from the Natural Heritage Conservation Program.


Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) are associated with habitats (or natural communities) and places on the landscape. Understanding relationships among SGCN, natural communities and ecological landscapes help us make decisions about issues affecting SGCN and their habitat and how to respond. Download the Wildlife Action Plan association score spreadsheet to explore rare species, natural communities and ecological landscape associations

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.